## Day 156 – Concave Mirrors

Physics 11 – Today we continued with our investigation into mirrors.  Students found the focal length of a mirror by projecting an image from a distant object.  Next they were asked to find the image distance for a given object distance, using three different methods: direct measurement, calculation using the focal length, and doing a scaled ray diagram.

As I noted from last day in physics, I hoped that students could use a cooperative learning environment to successfully solve mirror problems.  It turned out that the substitute felt that kids should work quietly and independently.  Uh huh.

## Day 154 – Mirror Equation

Physics 11 – Today was a very short day for me, as I had to go to the board offices for some training on our new SIS.  It was a good test for the students though: I left a package on doing calculations for mirrors. The idea was to use the readings, worked examples, and student crowd sourcing to figure out how to do these types of questions. Once a student gets a correct answer to a question and feels comfortable with the solution, they put their name on the whiteboard and volunteer as a helper for that question.

## Day 137 – Eye Dissection

Science 8 – A highlight of the year is the sheep eye dissection.  With minimal guidance, students were able to ethically and responsibly dissect the eye.  My peer tutor was a fantastic help during this activity as there are a few places that kids have problems, most noticeably when puncturing through the eye the first time.

I got a chuckle from the kids after the lab when they told me that “finally,  we got to do a lab.” Apparently a science lab isn’t a lab until animal parts are cut into!

## Pseudo Day 118 – Drawing Ray Diagrams

Physics 11 – May 11

Students were working with curved mirrors today and doing ray diagrams.  This activity is very similar to what I did with the grade 8 students.  The goal is to use drawings to show understanding of the ray model of light: light can be modeled as traveling in straight lines; line originates at a light source; the Law of Reflection..

## Pseudo Day 112 – Optics Summary

Science 8 – April 23

Another one of my science 8 classes was finishing up their optics unit.  Their last assignment was to produce a concept map on the keyword “Vision”.  The concept map is used to determine how well they understand the human eye and how the parts of the eye work together to create an image on the retina and a vision in our minds.

## Day 86: Curved Mirrors

Science 8 – The students continued looking into light and optics today.  The main goal was to see how curved mirrors affected light rays. Unfortunately we don’t have curved mirrors to use with ray boxes so I improvised using curved aluminum foil.

I think this activity is a bit difficult for the students but it is hard to assess. I don’t want to go deep into them drawing ray diagrams, I mainly want them to understand how mirror curvature and focal points work, and how the images change.  The other part that I am concentrating on is the idea of communication competency.  By this I mean that the skill of drawing a clear diagram using a ruler is an important part of communication.  Whether the student is doing a diagram for themselves, for their teacher or for their classmates, it is important to do a good job so that they can exchange their ideas.